4th International Conference

Digital Culture & AudioVisual Challenges

Interdisciplinary Creativity in Arts and Technology

Hybrid - Corfu/Online, May 13-14, 2022

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Metareferential Greek Cinema: The appearance of the medium in No Budget Story (1997) and Afstiros Katallilo (2008)
Date and Time: 14/05/2022 (19:00-20:30)
Location: Ionian Academy
Eva Vlachou

Self-reflexivity is a prominent characteristic of postmodern art and culture. In a variety of texts, we come across the idea that postmodern art frequently reflects upon itself and does so through irony, self-reference and intertextuality. Metareference is a form of self-reference that specifically refers to the respective medium. As a phenomenon, it is transmedial and it renders the recipient capable of perceiving the medium. As far as cinema is concerned, films whose subject matter is the construction of a movie are highly metareferential, especially when they expose the whole technical procedure of filmmaking as well as the cinematic equipment.

Most reports and investigations of metareference are focused on metafiction and since there is not a lot of examination of metareference in the medium of film, let alone in Greek cinema, the goal of this paper is to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of postmodern Greek film. Greece, being culturally hybrid between East and West, is often left outside the discussion about postmodernity, since that phenomenon is mostly linked to West culture.

In an attempt to collect data about Greek films that deal with their own existence and discuss about the filmic matter, I will examine the self-referential properties of two films: No Budget Story (1992) and Afstiros Katallilo (2008). I will do that by analyzing them and comparing the ways they choose to represent the cinematic medium. The specific films depict Greek filmmakers that struggle to financially support their movies and they explore the process of filmmaking in a metareferential and self-deprecating way. My method of analysis will involve the study of the appearance of the film equipment in the discussed films and the examination of their narrative choices, paying particular attention to their main characteristics of metareferentiality as identified in Metareference across Media edited by Werner Wolf.

In No Budget Story, a young director is in search of funding for his upcoming film. His search pushes him to encounter a former porn producer and to cooperate with him in order to carry out his artistic dream. In Afstiros Katallilo two filmmakers are also trying to find ways to finance their movie The End of Passion. They also meet a porn producer who agrees to help them, but he secretly uses their cinematic equipment to shoot a porn film when they are not around. Both films therefore are talking about filmmakers who are highly artistic but end up cooperating with porn producers, a practice which may be perceived as low culture for filmmakers. Moreover, both films are not generally considered to be or express high culture in narrative or style. They in fact reference high culture film, however they do this ironically. Finally, these films aim for a viewer who is not necessarily familiar with film history and analysis.

This common ground in terms of address, representation and subject matter motivates my research about the way the two films use the concept of self-reference, and more specifically metareference, to comment on the procedure and the necessary connections needed in order to accomplish the construction of a movie.


Selective bibliography

Bartlett, S. (ed) (1992), Reflexivity: A Source-Book in Self-Reference, Amsterdam: North-Holland

Baudrillard, J. (1994), Simulacra and Simulation, USA: The University of Michigan Press

Baudrillard, J. (1998), The Consumer Society, Myths and Structures, London: Sage

Graham, A. (2000), Intertextuality: The New Critical Idiom, London: Routledge

Hutcheon, L. (1988), A Poetics of Postmodernism, History, Theory, Fiction, London: Routledge

Iampolski, M. (1998), The Memory of Tiresias: Intertextuality and Film, USA: University of California Press

Jameson, F. (1991), Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Durham: Duke University Press

Jameson, F. (1998), The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on The Postmodern, 1983-1998, London: Verso

Lyotard, F. (1984), The Postmodern: A Report on Knowledge, USA: University of Minnesota

Mazierska, E. (2011), European Cinema and Intertextuality: History, Memory and Politics, UK: Palgrave Macmillan

Nöth, W. and Bishara, N. (ed) (2007), Self-Reference in the Media, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter

Tomas-Fogiel, I. (2011), The Death of Philosophy: Reference and Self-Reference in Contemporary Thought, New York: Columbia University Press

Wolf, W. and Bantleon, K. and Thoss, J.n(ed) (2009), Metareference across Media: Theory and Case Studies, Amsterdam: Rodopi

Eva Vlachou

Graduate of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki School of Fine Arts Department of Film Studies with specialty in Film Theory and Direction of Photography ( Duration 5 years, MA) Film reviewer at Short Encounters International Film Festival Languages: Greek, French, English


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